Ryan McLaren: First Lancashire CCC Interview
Interview with Ryan McLaren
Lancashire’s new signing Ryan McLaren says that he is relishing the prospect of bringing his international experience to Emirates Old Trafford ahead of the 2017 domestic campaign.
The South African all-rounder played two Tests, 12 T20’s and 54 one-day internationals for the Proteas and said that facing up to some of the world’s best players on the international stage will help him make a mark in a Lancashire shirt this season.
“For me, performance is the most important thing - to make sure I am contributing and helping the side win games.
“But if it means adding a bit of experience to help the younger guys throughout the season then that is great and something I look forward to.
“Along the way you get into match situations where you can add a bit of experience and guidance. It’s a role I look forward to playing.”
The South African is set to embark on his sixth year in English cricket after spells at Kent, Middlesex and Hampshire, most famously taking a hat-trick in the 2007 Twenty20 final against Gloucestershire as Kent went on to win the trophy for the first time.
McLaren was Hampshire’s leading wicket-taker last season with 32 wickets, also contributing 832 runs with the bat at an average of 50.82, and he believes that his vast experience of county cricket will stand him in good stead for the upcoming campaign.
“The experience of having played county cricket before makes a massive difference,” said McLaren. “I think back to when I first played at Kent, even simple things like getting used to the cold can mentally have a big impact and put you on the back foot straight away.
“Having played with the Duke ball before also helps, because some overseas players come to England having never used one before.”
Lancashire’s County Championship form faded towards the end of last season after winning three of their first five games, and McLaren reiterates the need to stay focused until the final game if the club is to challenge for a domestic title in the coming year.
“The most important thing is knowing how to pace yourself. It is a long season, and it is crucial you don’t burn yourself out come August and September.
“You have to know when to train and when to rest to make sure you have enough steam to help win games throughout the whole season, not just at the start.”
The 33-year-old will join up with the Lancashire squad in March, and insists that there is enough quality in the ranks at Emirates Old Trafford to compete for silverware next season.
“You can see there is loads of talent at Lancashire. There is experience with people like Steven Croft and Kyle Jarvis in the squad. Then you have loads of youth coming through, guys like Liam Livingstone, who have an exciting future.
“It is nice to see myself as part of a group like that.
McLaren will be available for all county competitions and praised the benefits of playing all forms for Lancashire in 2017.
“Knowing you are there all season helps. It takes the pressure off for a start. If you are around for just four or five games, the pressure is huge, feeling you only have those games in which to make a contribution.
“But being around all season means you can build relationships with the players and the club and the key is consistency throughout the campaign.
“It is also good for the club in terms of stability, which is important especially when they have a lot of young players.”
McLaren last played for South Africa in 2014, and has also experienced the Indian Premier League over the past six years after playing for Mumbai Indians, Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders.
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